CBS Gets Angry Joe's YouTube Review Of 'Picard' Taken Down For Using 26 Seconds Of The Show's Trailer

from the make-it-no dept

Joe Vargas, who makes the fantastic The Angry Joe Show on YouTube, isn’t a complete stranger to Techdirt’s pages. You may recall that this angry reviewer of all things pop culture swore off doing reviews of Nintendo products a while back after Nintendo prevented Vargas from monetizing a review of a a game. The whole episode highlighted just how out of touch companies like Nintendo can be with this sort of thing, given how many younger folks rely on reviews like Vargas’ to determine where they spend their gaming dollars. Coupled with the argument that these commentary and review videos ought to constitute use of footage as fair use and it’s hard to see why any of this was worth it to Nintendo.

Or CBS, apparently. CBS recently got Angry Joe’s YouTube review of ‘Picard’ taken down, claiming copyright on the 2 thirteen-second videos of the show’s publicly available trailer that Vargas used in the review.

This is normally where some folks would suspect that ContentID or some automated system saw the images, resulting in an automated DMCA notice. Except that, as Vargas points out in his Twitter post, this was a manual block. Somebody at CBS saw Vargas’ use of the footage and manually requested that the video be taken down on copyright grounds.

And that’s crazy. First, the use of clips like this to discuss a review or critique of content is squarely within the grounds of fair use.

Based on the screenshot, it appears that Vargas was discussing the clips while they were on-screen and Vargas argues that this should constitute fair use – a provision in copyright law that allows copyrighted material to be used without permission from the copyright holder for transformative purposes such as commentary and criticism.

Add to that the clips were from the publicly available trailer footage and this makes even less sense. The trailers are out there for anyone to see. Hell, the entire point of trailers is to be widely disseminated to entice interest in the show. Blocking their use would seem to be at odds with the marketing goals of CBS.

And, yet, here we are, with CBS taking down a video for using trailer footage in a way that is clearly fair use. But some say YouTube doesn’t have a copyright enforcement problem? Please.

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Companies: cbs, youtube

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Comments on “CBS Gets Angry Joe's YouTube Review Of 'Picard' Taken Down For Using 26 Seconds Of The Show's Trailer”

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71 Comments
DebbyS (profile) says:

Re: CBS is stupid

Considering how poorly CBS has treated its viewers in recent years (by which I mean CBS kills good shows and also delays entire last seasons of other shows they’ve killed) — I’m surprised they have any viewers at all. I decided after the last episode of Elementary that I’d never watch any CBS show again. Indeed, these days I don’t watch any new show on any OTA network for fear such shows may be too smart for programmers and the shows will disappear.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

That and according to rumors, they know the show stinks, it’s not like TNG but they are relying on Patrick Stewart’s name to sell the show and to get people to subscribe to CBS All Access so they likely took it down because Joe likely said negative things about it.

This feels like a classic case of silencing criticism.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Well, I enjoyed the first episode. I thought it was really good. There was a ton of easter eggs in it. It’s not STTNG, It’s Star Trek Picard. A whole new series and I thought it got off to a great start. Generally, the first season isn’t the best for StarTrek and that includes STTNG, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and Enterprise which was really getting good until it got canceled.

But everyone has their own opinions and if this person doesn’t like it, so be it. He shouldn’t have his video taken down. It was fair use. It does just make the production company seem petty for doing the takedown.

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That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Its a shame there isn’t any penalty for this obvious misuse of the law.

The created CBS All Access to "win" the streaming wars, but are so terrified of people seeing anything without paying them first.
Its like selling a video game with awesome graphics on the box and only after you pay & install it you discover… they ported ET form the atari.

bob says:

YouTube rewind 2019

But some say YouTube doesn’t have a copyright enforcement problem?

If you watch the YouTube rewind for 2019 it is just a collection of content creator’s videos arranged like a top 10 for a category.

Obviously there is fair use at play and YouTube probably has in their ToS that they can reuse anything people post. But what is interesting is people joking in the comments section that maybe the creators can get the video taken down for infringement because contentID is so bad.

The public recognizes the problems of contentID so why does YouTube not seem to care. It just makes YouTube appear hypocritical because of their re-use but how little they seem to care about their content creator’s channels. At least the non corporate partners.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: YouTube rewind 2019

"The public recognizes the problems of contentID so why does YouTube not seem to care"

Because: a) it’s about as good as it can realistically get with the level of hard data and volume of new videos that YouTube processes, b) they get attacked from both sides no matter what action they do or don’t take, and c) the public aren’t its paying customers.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: YouTube rewind 2019

Because the alternative to ContentID is Youtube being forced into bankruptcy by the legacy copyright owners.

This also doesn’t seem to have been a ContentID issue but instead CBS seemed to have flagged the video on purpose and under the DMCA Youtube don’t have much of a choice but to action the takedown, it’s not Youtube’s fault the courts have made it all but impossible to claim damages from false takedowns.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: YouTube rewind 2019

This is a youtube problem. Their claim system is flawed. Once a claim is on a video, it gets demonetized and taken down; No human interaction. This is a clear Fair Use issue that is an example of acceptable use. This is blatant abuse of the horribly implemented youtube claim system by CBS and many others.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The flaw doesn’t lie with YouTube’s claim system — it lies with the DMCA, which legally mandates a notice-and-takedown system for everyone. YouTube can’t fix its claim system until the DMCA’s takedown system changes to notice-and-notice. That won’t happen any time soon, especially not with people like you thinking the symptom is a bigger problem than the disease.

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Cdaragorn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The DMCA is definitely the source of the problem, but not quite in the way you’ve stated.
The DMCA does not mandate notice-and-takedown, it just makes it incredibly risky to not take the content down immediately by making the service provider liable if it ends up being found to be infringing. Since YouTube can’t possibly evaluate every video it gets complaints for manually, it’s not worth taking on that risk.
This is what allows people to pretend it’s not required when there’s really no other way to do it anyway. It’s honestly worse than if it just mandated the takedown because of that.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

The DMCA mandates that anyone who ignores any given takedown notice — even if it’s unlawful bullshit — accepts legal liability for leaving up the content listed in the notice. No one without the resources of Google or some other large corporation would dare ignore a notice and risk a lawsuit; even the large corporations don’t tend to risk lawsuits.

The takedown system is mandated by the DMCA. The punishments for ignoring takedown notices are part of that system. To say notice-and-takedown isn’t mandated by the DMCA is to ignore how those punishments tend to weigh heavily in favor of the plaintiffs (i.e., whoever sends the takedown notice), especially when you know who tends to enforce copyright to its fullest extent. ProTip: It ain’t regular jackoffs like you and me.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: YouTube rewind 2019

"Once a claim is on a video, it gets demonetized and taken down"

Yes, and the reason for that is that they get an insane number of claims. Even if they don’t automate the response, the people filing them claims are automating their side. Even if it were possible to hire enough staff to manually go through every claim, they would still be filed faster than humans could process them.

"This is a clear Fair Use issue that is an example of acceptable use."

Bear in mind that one of the reasons why ContentID exists is because Viacom were suing them over content that Viacom themselves uploaded. The vagaries of copyright law won’t keep them out of court, but assuming that copyright holders aren’t lying their asses off when filing claims will.

"This is blatant abuse of the horribly implemented youtube claim system by CBS and many others"

Yes, so it’s about time that they started facing consequences for lying and defrauding, rather than people just complaining about YouTube every time a mistake is made.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: YouTube rewind 2019

YouTube’s copyright problem is called the DMCA. They can either take action when notified of a copyright claim, or risk being taken to court for copyright infringement because they did not act. The notice was not one that YouTube could ignore, because it was a valid, (in form and detail), notice from the copyright owner of the content identified.

YouTube’s options were take it down, or fight it on fair use grounds. The latter course of action would almost certainly start with a fight over standing, because YouTube is not the copyright owner of the video in question.

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Cdaragorn (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: YouTube rewind 2019

I know you want to hate all corporations really really really bad. That doesn’t make any of what you just said make any sense, though.
The DMCA has made it far far more expensive to defend the poor people than to let them fight it out themselves. It’s not worth imagining conspiracies when the simplest explanation is as strong as this one is. Either take the content down until the poor people explain why it wasn’t infringing, or go out of business.
Google isn’t the bad guy here.

PaulT (profile) says:

One thing not mentioned in the article – how positive was the review? I could see this as being a hamfisted attempt to keep dissenting voices silent while CBS pimp for new subscriptions, since they apparently don’t have much else for people to specifically sign up for, at least from my understanding. It makes zero sense if it was a positive review but I can imagine a department being told to kill bad reviews.

Personally, I thought the first episode was… OK. Nothing special but intriguing enough to continue watching. But then, where I live it’s on Prime Video, so I didn’t spend a penny extra or change my viewing habits in the slightest to watch it. I might think differently if I’d paid specifically for it.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Yay, more "get back at trump" scifi.

So, ignoring your idiotic childish need to insert your own politics into every thread where it doesn’t belong – which sci-fi do you prefer? What should we be watching other than the generations-long running property that has always promoted progressive views, but apparently isn’t coddling you toddlers enough?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Yay, more "get back at trump" scifi.

You see, this is what I mean. While my politics veer in a very different directions and I did enjoy Verhoeven’s take on on Starship Troopers, I’m always on the lookup for new viewpoints and I would happily delve into quality material that just happens to view the world in a different way that I do. I don’t particularly care for outright troll or propaganda material, but I will happily look into something told from an honestly held alternative viewpoint.

Instead, we have someone whining that a show that’s always been left of centre and always commented upon issues of the day is not sufficiently bowing down to his favourite politician. Presumably without ever having seen the show, and almost certainly having lived through 8 years of Obama without uttering a word of complaint when he was being attacked.

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Yay, more "get back at trump" scif

I like Verhoeven’s movies too, but I don’t quite think the parody form suits Starship Troopers as well. That’s why I’d like to see a more serious version – maybe I actually wouldn’t like it as much, but we’ll never know if it’s not made.

As to Angry Joe, I like some of his videos, and hate others. He’s kinda hit and miss as a reviewer in my opinion… which is only my opinion. I also haven’t seen Picard yet, and with the abortion CBS made called Discovery, I might not ever see it unless some reviewer I trust give me reason to do so.

Ed (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Yay, more "get back at trump"

"Discovery" has actually been a very entertaining series. "Picard" has started off very well, was like sitting down with an old friend after a long absence. But then, I decide for myself what I like and don’t like instead of letting "the internet" tell me what I should and shouldn’t like.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Yay, more "get back at trump"

Flash Gordon and similar shows were quite humorous with the clearly visible wires suspending the spaceship whose engine exhaust (smoke) rose up in the air. Never did understand why they did not shoot those scenes sideways. Oh – and when they had to go to the planet surface, they jumped out while in orbit floating down with the help of a cape.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

So… I didn’t even know this Picard thing existed until this post came up. And it’s really some allegorical Trump-hating? (According to spill kit on aisle 5, anyway.)

As an aside: I don’t understand what is so bad about hating Trump. He was an idiot child asshole 30 years ago, and still is today, just more so. Plenty of people hated him, and probably still do, who now find him at least a useful idiot for their party. They have really gone downhill, man.

Anonymous Coward says:

On the other hand

Don’t be too sure that this is what it appears on the surface. Techdirt and many online sites repeatedly mention the Streisand effect and have great public angst over bogus take down notices. I pose the possibility that this is a clever use of the TDN/Streisand effect in order to boost publicity.

Look at a marketing firm perspective: Most Internet users are aware of false DMCA take down notices, why not use that for publicity? Issue a bogus take down notice and let the fur fly. The item (Picard) being pushed will have greater public exposure.

I don’t claim that this is the case, but I wouldn’t put it past Hollywood to manipulate Techdirt and others this way.

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

People usually want positive press for their projects. Having a project connected to a bullshit copyright takedown designed primarily to silence someone’s critical speech? Not so much with the positivity. If anything, knowing CBS pulled this shit makes me far less likely to watch Picard — even through piracy — never mind any other CBS show.

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nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

There is no such thing as bad press.

Really? Do you think Union Carbide would agree? How about Enron, or Exxon, or the government of Flint, Michigan? Do you think Harvey Weinstein has been enjoying all his publicity lately, because there is no such thing as bad press? Or Matt Lauer?

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: On the other hand

Unlikely in this case, I think. Picard is targeted at a kind of viewer who will not only be way more aware of what’s going on than most, but be aware of the politics surrounding this kind of takedown. The type of person who’s in the market for a Next Generation spinoff is almost certainly already aware of the show, and while they might be swayed by reviews, they probably won’t be swayed by corporate abuse of the internet.

Occam’s Razor applies here – the most likely reasons are that CBS simply were a little overzealous over a bad review, or over their copyright.

Anonymous Coward says:

Why does Techdirt keep insisting situations like this immediately grant fair use?

It’s moronic.

The law is clear: only a court can determine if the use is fair. It’s not a fair system, we can all agree, but the GUIDELINES were added so juries can decide if the use is fair and allowed.

It doesn’t matter how many cases came before it. This is a civil matter, which means every case stands on its own.

Don’t blame CBS for using the law against Vargas (who I enjoy).

Don’t blame Vargas for being upset.

Blame the politicians who refuse to fix copyright law.

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"Why does Techdirt keep insisting situations like this immediately grant fair use?"

Because the type of usage here is explicitly allowed in the fair use parts of the law?

Yes, a court needs to be involved before these are affirmatively applied, but why shouldn’t these situations be criticised for being the type of extrajudicial censorship they are?

"Don’t blame CBS for using the law against Vargas (who I enjoy).

Don’t blame Vargas for being upset.

Blame the politicians who refuse to fix copyright law."

Why not blame CBS for abusing a broken law? Yes, it needs to be fixed, but CBS still deserve criticism for abusing something that allows them to force people to defend themselves in court at great cost, for a use which is explicitly allowed in the law.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

I’ll blame the politicians who refuse to fix copyright law, sure. But I will damn well blame Viacom for abusing the law, too. The usage of those Picard clips is clearly protected by the principles Fair Use; the only reason we’ll never get a legal ruling in that regard is because Angry Joe most likely lacks the resources to fight a costly-on-multiple-fronts lawsuit against a corporate behemoth.

Ian says:

Is Angry Joe in a miror Universe?

January 27 CBS issues Angry Joe a Takedown notice for his Youtube post with 13 seconds from the Picard Trailer.
January 30, arstechnica is reporting, "CBS makes Star Trek: Picard pilot free on YouTube for a limited time".

I can’t verify that is accurate since I’m in Canada and am getting the message "Video unavailable. This video is not available." Presumably blocked like most other CBS/NBC on-line content because, um, the CRTC won’t let us see the SuperBowl commercials ?

Maybe Angry Joe jumped hte gun and should have waited to link to the entire show instead!

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Is Angry Joe in a miror Universe?

As I mentioned above, I’ll bet it’s the tone of the review that got him blocked, the footage was just the excuse.

"Maybe Angry Joe jumped hte gun and should have waited to link to the entire show instead!"

Nah, the way these things go, I’ll bet he’s attracted more viewers than he had before this happened.

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